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Primary education: listening and observing
Primary education: listening and observing

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2.2 Children and coding

Coding is creating a set of instructions for a device to carry out. It is also called ‘programming’. Coding is one strand of computing.

Activity 2 Should everyone learn to code?

Timing: Allow around 20 minutes

Watch this video about why children should learn to code.

Video 2 What most schools don’t teach [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

After you watch, answer the following question:

  • How much do you agree with the argument that learning how to code is a universal skill that should be taught to all children? Is it as important as literacy or numeracy?
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Teaching computing is not about training future software engineers (although some argue that increasingly many more people will be employed the tech industry), but on equipping young people with the transferable problem-solving skills that are applicable across all walks of life. You will read more about such computational thinking skills shortly.

Some, including the House of Lords Digital Skills Committee (2016), argue that teaching coding is an economic imperative, and that there is already a significant gap in the skills required by a technology-driven economy and those focussed on in schools.